The Value of Personal Professional Theories for Vocational Education

Harmen Schaap, Utrecht University, the Netherlands. ECER 2008 Gothenburg

Knowledge in Competence-based Vocational Education: Formal knowledge Professional norms and values Personal knowledge


Personal Professional Theories
 Knowledge base (knowledge and beliefs)
 Formal knowledge  Workprocess knowledge  Beliefs concerning professional attitudes

 Frame of reference
 Professional behaviour  Internalisation

 Related concepts
 Practical knowledge  Action Theories


Value of Personal Professional Theories Monitoring development of knowledge Assessment Intervention


Development of Personal Professional Theories
 Growing into a professional domain (Achtenhagen & Grubb, 2001; Mok, 1973)
 Collective knowledge, norms, values and notions  Collective and personal nature  Domain specific

 Negotiation of meaning (Bruner, 1985; Wenger, 1998)


Stimulating the development of Personal Professional Theories
Collaborative learning Reflection activities of students Modelling and scaffolding of teachers and trainers


 Personal Professional Theory
 Knowledge base;  Frame of reference;  Internalisation  Monitoring/assessment/intervention.

 Future research
 Content and features (criteria);  Development of Personal Professional Theories (methods, interventions, analysis).


Harmen Schaap MSc. Utrecht University Research Centre Learning in Interaction Heidelberglaan 1 P.O. box 80140 3508 TC Utrecht T: 030 – 252 49 41 E:


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